Kuzhalmannam Agraharam...History Behind Maha Sivarathri
History Behind Maha Sivarathry (Sivarathri, Siva Rathri)
Om Sivaya namah
Om Vama-devaya namah
Maha Shivratri, the night of the worship of Shiva, falls on the Krishna Chathurdasi day, on the 14th night of the new moon during the dark half in the month of Megha or sometimes in Phalguna also.
This years Shivarathri comes on Sunday 26 th February,(14 th Kumbham,1181)
Shivratri is the night when Lord Shiva have performed the Tandava Nritya . In Kerala the month of Kumbham is noted for the Sivarathri festival It falls on a moonless February night, when Hindus offer special prayer to the lord of destruction.The festival is observed for one day and one night only.
According to the Puranas, during the great mythical churning of the ocean called Samudra Manthan, a pot of poison emerged from the ocean. The gods and the demons were terrified as it could destroy the entire world. When they ran to Shiva for help, he in order to protect the world, drank the deadly poison but held it in his throat instead of swallowing it. This turned his throat blue, and since then he came to be known as Nilkantha, the blue-throated one. Shivratri celebrates this event by which Shiva saved the world.
According to the Shiva Purana, the Maha Shivratri worship must incorporate six items: the ceremonial offer of cooling bael leaves to the deity, representing purification of the soul; the vermilion paste applied on the linga after bathing it, representing virtue; food offering which is conducive to longevity and gratification of desires; incense, yielding wealth; the lighting of the lamp which is conducive to the attainment of knowledge; and betel leaves marking satisfaction with worldly pleasures. All through the day the devotees keep severe fast, chant the sacred Panchakshara mantra "Om Namah Shivaya "
The celebration of Sivarathri at the Siva temple at Aluva on the sand bank of River Periyar is attended with great eclat. Here the Lingom (idol) of Siva rises out of the sand on the bank of the river. People from many parts of Kerala and outside comes here and doing Siva Tharpanam here.
Shiva literally means "auspiciousness, welfare". He is the third god of the Hindu Triad or Trimurti) and is the destroyer of all evil. He represents darkness (tamas), and is said to be the 'angry god'. However, according to Hinduism, creation follows destruction. Therefore Shiva is also regarded as a reproductive power, which restores what has been dissolved. As one who restores, he is represented as the linga or Shivalinga, a symbol of regeneration.
The name Shiva does not appear in the Vedas. However he is identified with the Vedic god Rudra, lord of songs, sacrifices, nourishment, the healer of diseases and provider of property. According to the Shiva Purana Shiva is said to have five faces, corresponding to his five tasks, the panchakriya: creation, establishment, destruction, oblivion, and grace. His five faces are associated with the creation of the sacred syllable Om.
Across the country, there are hundreds of temples and shrines dedicated to Shiva. Shiva is the creator of dance. His dance of anger is called the Roudra Tandava and his dance of joy, the Ananda Tandava. At Chidambaram temple in Tamilnadu,on Shivarathri day people celebrates the same in a grand manner.
K.Ananda Ram,Retd.Manager,( S B T ),
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